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Don’t flush medicine down the drain

Don’t flush old or unwanted prescriptions or over-the-counter medications down the toilet or drain. When medicine is dumped down the drain or flushed down the toilet, it flows through the sewer system to the wastewater treatment plant. The wastewater treatment system was not designed to remove all pharmaceutical compounds.   Medicines flushed down the drain can contaminate our lakes and streams, which can hurt fish and other aquatic wildlife.

Get rid of old medicine ASAP

Prescription drugs in home medicine cabinets are a significant cause of accidental poisoning. These drugs are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Studies show that people who abuse prescription drugs often obtain them from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets. Remove expired, unwanted or used medicines from your home as quickly as possible to help reduce the chance that others may accidentally take or intentionally misuse them.

How to dispose of medications

Drop-Off Sites

Instead of flushing unwanted medicines down the drain, you can drop them off at a drug-disposal bin. Black-out personal information on the medicine containers and drop off at:

South Lake Tahoe Police Department
1352 Johnson Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Monday – Friday, 9 am - 3 pm
Call 530-542-6100 for more info
*Medical sharps (ex. needles, lancets, syringes and IVs )and household hazardous waste cannot be accepted at the drug-disposal bin.

For additional El Dorado County Drug Disposal sites click here

South Tahoe Refuse accepts non-narcotic prescriptions drugs, both solid and liquid, at its Household Hazardous Waste Program at:

South Tahoe Refuse Household Hazardous Waste drop off
2192 Ruth Avenue, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 am – 12pm and 1pm - 4pm
Call 530-542-8368 for more info
*There is no charge and no paperwork is needed